The author, an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal, presents a survey of a series of small, undeclared wars pursued by the United States since the clashes with the Barbary States under President Jefferson at the dawn of the 19th century. He summarizes the origins, action, and aftermath of several dozen foreign adventures, from the Philippine War (1899-1902) and the Chinese Boxer Rebellion (1900) to the tracking of Pancho Villa, U.S. involvement in opposing the Russian revolution, a series of shootups in Central America and the Caribbean, and of course, Vietnam. Although there was plenty of prejudice, nastiness, and atrocities in many of these wars, one comes away mildly surprise at how comparatively well the U.S. military governed conquered nations, at least for a time after the shooting stopped. Whether such incursions were to the ultimate good of their subject nations (and will be in the future) remains a sizable question mark, but Boot's highly readable account is most interesting.
This report prepared by David Loftus